Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Nanaimo square, Chinese chews yield delightful dainties

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MAY brings bridal showers, wedding socials and other special occasions. If baking a square for some such event is on your to-do list, today's column supplies delightful dainties to fill out the tray.

First up is perennial favourite Nanaimo square (aka New York slice) sent in by Brenda McAdam in response to a request by Pat Jacques. Thanks also to Janet Ingersoll and Linda Chorneyko.

"I have made this Nanaimo square recipe for close to 25 years (even made a few batches for my wedding reception) as well as for many showers at work and for Christmas," writes McAdam. "My sister says, 'There is no Nanaimo like yours...' but it is from my Grade 8 home-ec cookbook! I love it and it is easy and definitely tried-and-true!"

Also this week, Shirley MacFarlane of Gimli supplied a recipe for Julie Tytgat for Chinese chews, a date slice. Thanks also to M. Forster.

Do you have a favourite summer recipe you can't wait to whip up once the weather turns warm? Be prepared to share it, because we're holding another Recipe Swap contest and you could take home one of eight copies of Company's Coming Weekend Cooking cookbook by Jean Paré. Please submit a recipe request and a favourite summer weekend recipe to Summer Weekend Recipe Contest c/o Ilana Simon, by e-mail (, fax (697-7412), or land mail (Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6).

Each entry must include a recipe request and an original summer recipe to be eligible. Also, please include your name and daytime telephone number in case directions must be checked. All entries must be received by June 1.

Now onto recent requests:

Mary Lewycky is looking for a recipe popular in the 1960s dubbed "pink velvet." It featured a crumb base and its main ingredients were strawberry Jell-O and whipped cream.

Gail Dodds is on the hunt for a daintie recipe that shows up at most showers. It has a graham wafer base with icing on top and may be called "food for the gods."

Randy would love to be able to duplicate Tavern in the Park's curried lentils in phyllo pastry.

Doreen Szor, meanwhile, has her sights set on replicating the former Hungarian Village Restaurant's cabbage soup, rabbit soup and house salad. "I hope previous owners would be willing to share these wonderful recipes," she writes.

Lastly, Helen Torbiak is after a recipe for pan-fried shrimp in garlic sauce similar to the ones served at Red Lobster. Also, she'd like a good recipe for cheese-beer soup.

Please send any requests or responses to Recipe Swap, c/o Ilana Simon, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB R2X 3B6, send a fax to 697-7412 or e-mail to Please include name, address and daytime telephone number in case any ingredients or directions must be checked.

Nanaimo square

Part A
3 tablespoons (45 mL) cocoa
1/2 cup (125 mL) margarine
1/4 cup (50 mL) white sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla
2 cups (500 mL) graham cracker crumbs
1 cup (250 mL) coconut
1/2 cup (125 mL) walnuts
Part B
1/4 cup (50 mL) butter or margarine
2 cups (500 mL) icing sugar
2 tablespoons (25 mL) custard powder
2 tablespoons (25 mL) milk
Part C
3 squares (1 oz./30 g each) semisweet chocolate
1 teaspoon (5 mL) butter

Part A: In double boiler, melt together cocoa, 1/2 cup (125 mL) margarine and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add 1 beaten egg and vanilla and remove from heat. Add graham crumbs, coconut and nuts.

Spread in bottom of foiled-lined 8- by 8-inch (2L) pan. Chill until firm.

Part B: Beat ingredients for Part B together until smooth.

Spread over first layer. Chill again -- 30 minutes is enough.

Part C: Melt chocolate squares with butter and spread over middle layer. Chill until firm. When cutting, lift foil out of pan and cut on cutting board. Easy!

Taste-tester notes: Nothing beats this delectable recipe for a tried-and-true Nanaimo square. If desired, line the pan with parchment paper instead of foil. Keep Nanaimo square refrigerated until serving.

Chinese chews

2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
3/4 cup (175 mL) cake flour
1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) dates, finely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) walnuts or pecans, finely chopped

Beat eggs and add to sugar.

Sift all dry ingredients together and mix in dates and nuts.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Beat well. Line a 6- by 11-inch (2.5 L) pan with waxed paper and spread dough in it to depth of 1/2 inch (1 cm).

Bake 40 minutes at 350º F (180º C).

Makes 22 1- by 3-inch (2.5- by 7.5-cm) bars.

Taste-tester notes: These sweet, date-filled bars are a nice contrast to chocolate dainties. In place of the unusual sized 6- by 11-inch pan, I used the more common 7- by 11-inch (3 L) with success. If desired, decrease sugar to 2/3 cup (150 mL) and use parchment paper in place of waxed paper.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 14, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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